We offer Stainless Steel merchandise in 304 and 316L
Stainless Steel 304 is the most common, popular and widely-used stainless steel. It is widely known as 18-8 (or 18/8) stainless steel which refers to its chemical content of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
Classified under Austenite steel, 304 is non-magnetic and offers good corrosion-resistance to both chemical and atmospheric exposures, with a high resistance to oxidation. It is however susceptible to corrosion from chloride solutions, notably saline environments with high amounts of sodium chloride (salt).
304 is a great choice for general stainless steel applications such as kitchen and food processing applications, liquid storage and tanks, heat exchangers, building facades, pressure vessels and other applications involving fresh water environments.
Stainless Steel 316, also known as marine grade stainless, is well-known for its increased resistance to corrosion and its superb abilities in salt water and saline environments. It is the second-most common stainless steel next to 304.
316 generally contains 16% chromium and 10% nickel, with the addition of molybdenum normally ranging from 2-3%. Molybdenum increases corrosion resistance, particularly against chlorides and other industrial solvents. While there may be a difference between the chemical compositions of 316 and 304, their mechanical properties are similar.
316 is more suitable than 304 for sea water environments and marine applications, as well as fresh water with high levels of chloride. It is also widely used in refining equipment and pulp and paper processing with high sulfur exposure. 316 is also certified for equipment in the medical industry, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and sterile area, as well as surgical implants. 316, however, is less resistant to highly oxidizing acids such as nitric acid, as its molybdenum content will react to the acid.
Stainless Steel 304L and 316L
304L and 316L are the low-carbon variants of 304 and 316 respectively. This quality makes them more suitable for welding than standard 304 and 316. The lower carbon content of 304L and 316L minimizes carbide precipitation that resulted from welding, which makes it less likely to experience weld decay or intergranular corrosion.
STAINLESS STEEL 304 AND 316 COMPARISON
|Strength||Similar with 316||Slightly lower than 304 due to decreased amount of carbon||Similar to 304||Slightly lower than 316 due to decreased amount of carbon|
|Good corrosion resistance to chemical and atmospheric exposures, with a high resistance to oxidation||Similar to 304 but better resistance to intergranular corrosion caused by the high heat of welding||Better corrosion resistance to stronger acids and solutions, particularly chloride solutions or saline environments||Similar to 316 but better resistance to intergranular corrosion caused by the high heat of welding|
|Weldability||Excellent, but likely to develop weld decay||Excellent; least likely to develop weld decay||Excellent, but likely to develop weld decay||Excellent; least likely to develop weld decay|
|Applications||General Stainless Steel applications||General Stainless Steel applications that require much welding||Marine applications; environments with high levels of chloride||Marine applications, environments with high levels of chloride that require much welding|